Chapter 1 Our Place in the Universe 1

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Chapter 1 Our Place in the Universe

Chapter 1 Our Place in the Universe

1. 1 A Modern View of the Universe Our goals for learning: • What

1. 1 A Modern View of the Universe Our goals for learning: • What is our place in the universe? • How did we come to be? • How can we know what the universe was like in the past? • Can we see the entire universe?

What is our place in the universe?

What is our place in the universe?

Star A large, glowing ball of gas that generates heat and light through nuclear

Star A large, glowing ball of gas that generates heat and light through nuclear fusion

Planet Mars Neptune A moderately large object that orbits a star; it shines by

Planet Mars Neptune A moderately large object that orbits a star; it shines by reflected light. Planets may be rocky, icy, or gaseous in composition.

Moon (or satellite) An object that orbits a planet. Ganymede (orbits Jupiter)

Moon (or satellite) An object that orbits a planet. Ganymede (orbits Jupiter)

Asteroid A relatively small and rocky object that orbits a star. Ida

Asteroid A relatively small and rocky object that orbits a star. Ida

Comet A relatively small and icy object that orbits a star.

Comet A relatively small and icy object that orbits a star.

Solar (Star) System A star and all the material that orbits it, including its

Solar (Star) System A star and all the material that orbits it, including its planets and moons

Nebula An interstellar cloud of gas and/or dust

Nebula An interstellar cloud of gas and/or dust

Galaxy A great island of stars in space, all held together by gravity and

Galaxy A great island of stars in space, all held together by gravity and orbiting a common center M 31, The Great Galaxy in Andromeda

Universe The sum total of all matter and energy; that is, everything within and

Universe The sum total of all matter and energy; that is, everything within and between all galaxies

How did we come to be?

How did we come to be?

How can we know what the universe was like in the past? • Light

How can we know what the universe was like in the past? • Light travels at a finite speed (300, 000 km/s). Destination Light travel time Moon 1 second Sun 8 minutes Sirius 8 years Andromeda Galaxy 2. 5 million years • Thus, we see objects as they were in the past: The farther away we look in distance, the further back we look in time.

Example: We see the Orion Nebula as it looked 1, 500 years ago. M

Example: We see the Orion Nebula as it looked 1, 500 years ago. M 31, The Great Galaxy in Andromeda

Example: This photo shows the Andromeda Galaxy as it looked about 2 1/2 million

Example: This photo shows the Andromeda Galaxy as it looked about 2 1/2 million years ago. Question: When will be able to see what it looks like now? M 31, The Great Galaxy in Andromeda

Light-year • The distance light can travel in one year. • About 10 trillion

Light-year • The distance light can travel in one year. • About 10 trillion km (6 trillion miles).

 • At great distances, we see objects as they were when the universe

• At great distances, we see objects as they were when the universe was much younger.

How far is a light-year?

How far is a light-year?

How far is a light-year?

How far is a light-year?

Can we see the entire universe?

Can we see the entire universe?

Thought Question Why can’t we see a galaxy 15 billion light-years away? (Assume universe

Thought Question Why can’t we see a galaxy 15 billion light-years away? (Assume universe is 14 billion years old. ) A. Because no galaxies exist at such a great distance. B. Galaxies may exist at that distance, but their light would be too faint for our telescopes to see. C. Because looking 15 billion light-years away means looking to a time before the universe existed.

Thought Question Why can’t we see a galaxy 15 billion light-years away? (Assume universe

Thought Question Why can’t we see a galaxy 15 billion light-years away? (Assume universe is 14 billion years old. ) A. Because no galaxies exist at such a great distance. B. Galaxies may exist at that distance, but their light would be too faint for our telescopes to see. C. Because looking 15 billion light-years away means looking to a time before the universe existed.

What have we learned? • What is our physical place in the universe? –

What have we learned? • What is our physical place in the universe? – Earth is part of the Solar System, which is the Milky Way galaxy, which is a member of the Local Group of galaxies in the Local Supercluster • How did we come to be? – The matter in our bodies came from the Big Bang, which produced hydrogen and helium – All other elements were constructed from H and He in star and then recycled into new star systems, including our solar system

What have we learned? • How can we know that the universe was like

What have we learned? • How can we know that the universe was like in the past? – When we look to great distances we are seeing events that happened long ago because light travels at a finite speed • Can we see the entire universe? – No, the observable portion of the universe is about 14 billion light-years in radius because the universe is about 14 billion years old

1. 2 The Scale of the Universe Our goals for learning: • • •

1. 2 The Scale of the Universe Our goals for learning: • • • How big is Earth compared to our solar system? How far away are the stars? How big is the Milky Way Galaxy? How big is the universe? How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the universe?

How big is Earth compared to our solar system? Let’s reduce the size of

How big is Earth compared to our solar system? Let’s reduce the size of the solar system by a factor of 10 billion; the Sun is now the size of a large grapefruit (14 cm diameter). How big is Earth on this scale? A. B. C. D. an atom a ball point a marble a golf ball

Let’s reduce the size of the solar system by a factor of 10 billion;

Let’s reduce the size of the solar system by a factor of 10 billion; the Sun is now the size of a large grapefruit (14 cm diameter). How big is Earth on this scale? A. B. C. D. an atom a ball point a marble a golf ball

The scale of the solar system • On a 1 -to-10 billion scale: –

The scale of the solar system • On a 1 -to-10 billion scale: – Sun is the size of a large grapefruit (14 cm) – Earth is the size of a ball point, 15 meters away.

How far away are the stars? On our 1 -to-10 billion scale, it’s just

How far away are the stars? On our 1 -to-10 billion scale, it’s just a few minutes walk to Pluto. How far would you have to walk to reach Alpha Centauri? A. B. C. D. 1 mile 10 miles 100 miles the distance across the U. S. (2500 miles)

Answer: D, the distance across the U. S.

Answer: D, the distance across the U. S.

How big is the Milky Way Galaxy? The Milky Way has about 100 billion

How big is the Milky Way Galaxy? The Milky Way has about 100 billion stars. On the same ten billion-toone scale….

Thought Question Suppose you tried to count the more than 100 billion stars in

Thought Question Suppose you tried to count the more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy, at a rate of one per second… How long would it take you? A. B. C. D. a few weeks a few months a few years a few thousand years

Suppose you tried to count the more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy,

Suppose you tried to count the more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy, at a rate of one per second… How long would it take you? A. B. C. D. a few weeks a few months a few years a few thousand years

How big is the Universe? • The Milky Way is one of about 100

How big is the Universe? • The Milky Way is one of about 100 billion galaxies. • 1011 stars/galaxy x 1011 galaxies = 1022 stars As many stars as grains of (dry) sand on all Earth’s beaches…

 • Now let’s step through the Universe in powers of 10:

• Now let’s step through the Universe in powers of 10:

How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the Universe? • The Cosmic

How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the Universe? • The Cosmic Calendar: a scale on which we compress the history of the universe into 1 year.

How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the Universe? • The Cosmic

How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the Universe? • The Cosmic Calendar: a scale on which we compress the history of the universe into 1 year.

What have we learned? • How big is Earth compared to our solar system?

What have we learned? • How big is Earth compared to our solar system? – The distances between planets are huge compared to their sizes—on a scale of 1 -to-10 billion, Earth is the size of a ball point and the Sun is 15 meters away • How far away are the stars? – On the same scale, the stars are thousands of km away • How big is the Milky Way galaxy? – It would take more than 3, 000 years to count the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy at a rate of one per second, and they are spread across 100, 000 light-years

What have we learned? • How big is the universe? – The observable universe

What have we learned? • How big is the universe? – The observable universe is 14 billion lightyears in radius and contains over 100 billion galaxies with a total number of stars comparable to the number of grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches • How do our lifetimes compare to the age of the universe? – On a cosmic calendar that compresses the history of the Universe into one year, human civilization is just a few seconds old, and a human lifetime is a fraction of a second

1. 3 Spaceship Earth Our goals for learning: • • How is Earth moving

1. 3 Spaceship Earth Our goals for learning: • • How is Earth moving in our solar system? How is our solar system moving in the Galaxy? How do galaxies move within the Universe? Are we ever sitting still?

How is Earth moving in our solar system? • Contrary to our perception, we

How is Earth moving in our solar system? • Contrary to our perception, we are not “sitting still. ” • We are moving with the Earth in several ways, and at surprisingly fast speeds… The Earth rotates around its axis once every day.

Earth orbits the Sun (revolves) once every year: • at an average distance of

Earth orbits the Sun (revolves) once every year: • at an average distance of 1 AU ≈ 150 million km. • with Earth’s axis tilted by 23. 5º (pointing to Polaris) • and rotating in the same direction it orbits, counterclockwise as viewed from above the North Pole.

Our Sun moves randomly relative to the other stars in the local Solar neighborhood…

Our Sun moves randomly relative to the other stars in the local Solar neighborhood… • typical relative speeds of more than 70, 000 km/hr • but stars are so far away that we cannot easily notice their motion … And orbits the galaxy every 230 million years.

More detailed study of the Milky Way’s rotation reveals one of the greatest mysteries

More detailed study of the Milky Way’s rotation reveals one of the greatest mysteries in astronomy: Most of Milky Way’s light comes from disk and bulge … …. but most of the mass is in its halo

How do galaxies move within the universe? Galaxies are carried along with the expansion

How do galaxies move within the universe? Galaxies are carried along with the expansion of the Universe. But how did Hubble figure out that the universe is expanding?

Hubble discovered that: • All galaxies outside our Local Group are moving away from

Hubble discovered that: • All galaxies outside our Local Group are moving away from us. • The more distant the galaxy, the faster it is racing away. Conclusion: We live in an expanding universe.

Are we ever sitting still? Earth rotates on axis: > 1, 000 km/hr Earth

Are we ever sitting still? Earth rotates on axis: > 1, 000 km/hr Earth orbits Sun: > 100, 000 km/hr Solar system moves among stars: ~ 70, 000 km/hr Milky Way rotates: ~ 800, 000 km/hr Milky Way moves in Local Group Universe expands

What have we learned? • How is Earth moving in our solar system? –

What have we learned? • How is Earth moving in our solar system? – It rotates on its axis once a day and orbit the Sun at a distance of 1 A. U. = 150 million km • How is our solar system moving in the Milky Way galaxy? – Stars in the Local Neighborhood move randomly relative to one another and orbit the center of the Milky Way in about 230 million years

What have we learned? • How do galaxies move within the universe? – All

What have we learned? • How do galaxies move within the universe? – All galaxies beyond the Local Group are moving away from us with expansion of the Universe: the more distant they are, the faster they’re moving • Are we ever sitting still? – No!

1. 4 The Human Adventure of Astronomy Our goals for learning: • How has

1. 4 The Human Adventure of Astronomy Our goals for learning: • How has the study of astronomy affected human history?

How has the study of astronomy affected human history? • Copernican Revolution showed that

How has the study of astronomy affected human history? • Copernican Revolution showed that Earth was not the center of the universe (Chapter 3) • Study of planetary motion led to Newton’s Laws of motion and gravity (Chapter 4) • Newton’s laws laid the foundation of the industrial revolution • Modern discoveries are continuing to expand our “cosmic perspective”

What have we learned? • How has the study of astronomy affected human history?

What have we learned? • How has the study of astronomy affected human history? – Throughout history, astronomy has provided an expanded perspective on Earth that has grown hand in hand with social and technological developments

What have we learned? • How has the study of astronomy affected human history?

What have we learned? • How has the study of astronomy affected human history? • Throughout history, astronomy has provided an expanded perspective on Earth that has grown hand in hand with social and technological developments